August 2017 Eco-Gardening

August 2017 Eco-Gardening
June 1, 2017 Christina Mullin

What to Buy at the local Farmer’s Market:

Figs, Eggplant, Tomatoes

What to Plant in the Garden:

Cauliflower, Kale, Peas

Moon Gardening by Priscilla Woolworth

Please check out my blog about Gardening according to the phases of the Moon, where I explain it in more detail:


 August 1-6: Waxing Phase

August 7th: Full Moon

August 8th-20th: Waning Phase

August 21: New Moon

August 22-September 5th: Waxing Phase

 Garden Chores to be done in August:

The month of August is a great time to plant bearded Irises; they are very tough and drought resistant. Bearded irises provide several bloom cycles a year; chose from ‘Feedback’, ‘Frequent Flyer’, or ‘Summer Olympics’ and plant the rhizomes in late august.

Keep harvesting the basil, and pinching any flowers

Start germinating broccoli, sweet peas, onions, leeks, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard, kale and mustard greens. Transplant seedlings into the garden when they’re about 4″ tall.

Save seeds from your flowers and herbs.

I love collecting seeds from my flowers and vegetables:

If you live in a fire-prone area, remove all dead limbs, cut tall grasses, cut weeds down to a stubble, clean leaves from gutters, clean leaves from trees and shrubs, especially near your home.

According to the Moon calendar, August is the best month to cut trees down.

Feed your cymbidiums with a low nitrogen fertilizer from now until January.

Check plants for chlorosis and treat with iron chelate.

Pick herbs and lavender mid-morning for drying, cut off spent blossoms to encourage more blooming.

Mulch to suppress weeds and conserve water.

Prepare beds for fall crops by adding organic matter.

Continue to pinch side shoots of tomatoes and give them support.

Prune hydrangeas flowers that have faded to brown or green, cutting back each stalk that has bloomed, leaving only 2 buds for flowers next year.

In your flower garden: Plant bee balm, calendula, carnation, coreopsis, cornflower, candytuft, clarkia, columbine, chrysanthemum, delphinium, dianthus, dusty miller, foxglove, hollyhock, larkspur, lobelia, lupine, lavender, nigella, nicotiana, petunia, penstemon, poppy, rudbeckia, salvia, scabiosa, statice, stock, snapdragon, sweet pea, sweet alyssum, verbena, and yarrow.

In your vegetable garden: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collards, kale, lettuce, spinach, leeks, mustard greens, bunching onions, peas, chard, celery, turnips, carrots, beets, parsnip, radish, bush beans, chives, parsley, cilantro, dill, and cauliflower.

Following is a Moon Gardening calendar for August and which days are best for specific chores:

August 1-6, the Moon is in the Waxing phase, when the lunar gravitational pull brings the water up, which makes it a good time of the month to encourage plant growth and proliferation. Plant seeds, transplant, re-pot, trim and prune for growth. Also, fruits and vegetables that are tender and should be eaten immediately are at their best when gathered at the Waxing Moon, because the water content is higher, salads are crunchier, and juicier.

The 4 days before and also 4 days after the Full Moon is the best time to prune, plant seeds (they germinate faster when planted at the full moon because they absorb more water) and fertilize plants as close to the Full Moon as possible. Cut bamboo and sow a lawn or put down sod.

The Full Moon is when water is at the highest level in the month. Best time to pick tomatoes. Harvest grapes to be used in winemaking as close to the full moon as possible because the grapes will retain more juice and bouquet. Gather any herbs to be used for their essential oils at the Full Moon because oil content is more concentrated at this time.

Recommended days for these garden chores:

No garden chores during this period! Time to take a rest.

August 8-20, the Moon is Waning, and the energy of the earth is drawn down but the gravitational pull is high, creating more moisture in the soil and this energy goes into the roots making it a good time of the month to sow crops that produce their yield below ground and control plant growth by pruning, weeding, and controlling garden pests, as well as dividing perennials. This is the best time for garden maintenance because the growth cycle of plants decreases.  Fruit trees do best planted at this time of the month because the position of the moon encourages development of root growth and tree bark, essential to their success. This is also the best time to cut wood, because it resists parasites and cures better. Farmers pick their apples, cabbages, potatoes and onions at the Waning Moon, when water content is lowest and so the harvest stores better and keeps longer. Best time to dry herbs, flowers and fruit and the herbs are at their most potent. Also, add potassium fertilizer to plants that need it because it will be better absorbed at this time. Mow your lawn to slow growth.  First time composting, start your composting during this period because theWaning Moon phase helps aid in the decomposition of plant matter.

Recommended days for these garden chores:

August 8-9: Plant for root growth

August 11-12: Harvest, cultivate, weed and control pests

August 13-14: Plant for root growth

August 15-16: Harvest, cultivate, weed and control pests

August 17-18: Prune, water, compost and fertilize

August 19-20: Harvest, cultivate, weed and control pests

August 22-23: Plant flowering vines and medicinal plants

August 24-25: Plant above ground annuals, especially flowers and herbs

August 26-27: Plant above ground annuals, tomatoes and prune for growth

Happy Gardening!